Filing for a L-2 Visa has many benefits. First, it requires that the spouse be a L-1 holder. If he/she is, then you will enjoy some privileges such as:

  • You can stay for the duration of the L-1 Visa holder’s approved length of stay
  • You can apply to work full-time with EAD approval from the USCIS
  • You can engage in full-time study
  • You can travel in and out of the country on short trips and return


Obtaining an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

The main advantage to having a L-2 visa is being able to obtain an EAD (Employment Authorization Document) which allows the L-2 visa holders to work in the U.S. To apply for an EAD, you have to file Form I-765 and pay a check or money order for USD $380. You also need two identical color photographs, copy of your current passport, copy of the USCIS Form I-94, and a copy of the L-1 petition.

The L-2 Visa Application Process – Initial Steps

  1. This section will outline the initial steps needed to file an L-2 visa Application.
  2. The first thing you need to do is to go to the U.S. Department of State to download and complete Form DS-156, Application for a Nonimmigrant Visa.
  3. Complete the form as thoroughly as possible and when asked “What type of visa?”, make sure to indicate it’s for a L-2 Visa. After you finished, print the form out.
  4. Also, print out the form DS-157 which is the Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application. Make sure you complete all fields and enter “N/A” for a question that is not applicable.

L-2 Visa Required Documents.

File the Forms DS-156 and DS-157 in the U.S. Embassy where the L-2 applicant is residing.  There are several forms of documentation needed for the process.  Please see the list below for required documents for an L-2 visa:

  • valid passport
  • original marriage certificate
  • two recent color photographs
  • four to five marriage photographs (in case you’re an L-2 spouse)
  • copy of L-1’s approval certificate
  • L-1’s employment verification letter
  • demand draft for visa application fee
  • demand draft for visa issuance fee
  • copy of the L-1 holder’s income tax return.

You also must pay the nonimmigrant U.S. visa fee of USD $131. Some additional fees may also apply.Make sure your photographs are 2 inch by 2 inches with the head centered.

Filing for an L-2 Visa Extension

Also, if your L-2 visa is about to expire, then you will need to file for an extension. To do that, you need to download and print Form I-539 which is the Application to Extend/Change Non-Immigrant Status. There is a fee of USD $300 which is payable by check or money order to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”

Steps for Filing an L-2 Visa Extension

Filing for an L-2 Visa extension contains several steps.  Listed below are the steps needed in order to file for an L-2 visa extension:

  1. Get true certified copies of your spouse’s L-1 visa and any supporting documents used to obtain that visa and also your L-2 visa and any documents that you’ve used to obtain your L-2 visa status.
  2. Mail the completed Form I-539 application, fee, and supporting documents to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services that has jurisdiction over your state of residence.
  3. The key is to apply for the L-2 visa extension before it expires. Applying for it when the visa expires could risk serious consequences, including deportation back to your country.

Let us help you

Our firm is highly experienced in filing L-2 visa applications and L-2 visa extensions.  For help with either call 703-594-4040 or contact us online.  We look forward to hearing from you!

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